Welcome to the UCR Latino & Latin American Studies Research Center!
The Latino and Latin American Studies Research Center serves as the intellectual center of gravity for research for over 60 faculty members that work in, or at the intersection of, Latino and Latin American Studies at UCR. The Center fosters intellectual community through world-class programming and providing resources for research to faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students through grants, workshops, research working groups, retreats, symposia, writing sessions, theory workshops, post-docs, dissertation fellowships, and conferences. The Center is associated with the flag-ship journal Latin American Perspectives and the book series Subaltern Latina/o Politics with Oxford University Press. It is the first research center of its kind on a Southern California-based UC campus, and it seeks to advance an emergent hemispheric approach to understanding both Latinos in the United States and people and processes in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of a broader social and historical totality. The goal of the Center is to establish UCR as a leader in the hemispheric debates about Latinos, Latin America, and the Caribbean and to train the next generation of leaders and scholars that will critically shape our understanding of the hemisphere through this pathbreaking lens.
The Latino and Latin American Studies Research Center is made possible with the support of a $2.9-million-dollar Mellon grant, Latinx Futures: The Civil, Cultural and Political Stakes for Southern California Latinx Communities, written by PI Alfonso Gonzales Toribio and Co-PI Claudia Holguín Mendoza. This grant, along with a $1 million-dollar endowment by Ronald H. Chilcote established in 2020, provides the immediate resources necessary for the establishment of the Center in the winter of 2021. Its founding, however, is ultimately part of a 60-year struggle to build up Latin American Studies at UCR. Indeed, the Latin American Studies Program was originally founded in 1964 under a large three-year grant from The Ford Foundation written by Ronald H Chilcote. The program has undergone various stages, highs, and lulls, over the last 30 years. Since coming under new leadership in 2017, the Program has experienced a resurgence and has become a force in fostering dialogue among scholars across the United States and the Americas. Scholars from Mexico, Cuba, El Salvador, Ecuador, and other regions of the Americas have participated in several dozen events in recent years where they had bilingual scholarly exchanges with UCR faculty, students, and in the Latino communities of the Inland Empire. Speakers have educated UCR students, faculty, and students, as well as the broader communities of the Inland Empire, on a variety of issues ranging from ranches and politics in Mexico, the history of the civil war in El Salvador, the undocumented student movement, Central American refugees, Latino labor in the Inland Empire, agriculture in Cuba, and music from Chile and Argentina. In the summer of 2020, the Latin American Studies Program, in conjunction with the journal Latin American Perspectives, hosted an online event on the Coronavirus and its impact on Latin America. The bilingual event featured scholars from the United States, Mexico, and Ecuador and has been viewed thousands of times all over the western hemisphere.